Darren Aronofsky on why he didn't direct The Wolverine or Man of Steel
With Darren Aronofsky's NOAH proving that there is room to make an artistic film that is also a studio blockbuster, it makes one wonder about the other studio films the director almost helmed in recent years. More specifically, THE WOLVERINE and MAN OF STEEL. Both 2013 superhero films were at one point linked to Aronofsky in one capacity or another. THE WOLVERINE was much closer to happening while MAN OF STEEL was relegated to "numerous conversations" between Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan. But, now we are hearing from the director himself why neither film came to fruition.
First up, THE WOLVERINE. Now, Aronofsky was getting close to actually making the movie happen when a life event caused him to drop out. James Mangold stepped in and delivered a quality film as well as an announced sequel in a few years. So, why didn't Aronofsky helm it? His divorce from Rachel Weisz
"I loved the script and I thought the film came out great. I just had ... it was a hard time in my life," Aronofsky told MTV's Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "It was complicated. I couldn't leave New York for that long an amount of time. And, to be honest, the possibility of NOAH had started to emerge, and here was something I'd been thinking about for years. I was really excited by that."
I think since Hugh Jackman and Aronofsky worked together on THE FOUNTAIN, they likely would have had a shorthand working together which could have amplified THE WOLVERINE a bit from what we did get. Mangold's film was good, but an Aronofsky version would have been amazing.
As for MAN OF STEEL, Aronofsky was shortlisted as a director but never quite got the final nod from Nolan or Warner Bros. But, Aronofsky did have good things to say about how MAN OF STEEL turned out.
"Superman's one of the holy grails. It's Superman. It's the best superhero," he said. "Batman is great, of course, but it's Superman. He's the same level. That possibility was great. I thought Zack was a great choice, and I loved his WATCHMEN movie," said Aronofsky. "I thought it was great. I thought that as a fan of the comic, you couldn't hope for a better interpretation. I liked the orthodoxy of it."
"It was interesting to add the pathos that they put into the character [in MAN OF STEEL]. It's a hard one to do. You look at what Christopher Reeve did, and it was perfect, because it captured that 'good old boy' thing. But to try and redo that again and bring that for a modern audience is tough in a post-'Batman' and 'Wolverine' world. It's hard to do that."
There is still room out there for a superhero movie from Darren Aronofsky. With DC opening their cinematic universe and Marvel adding new projects with each phase, the possibilities are pretty open if he would choose to go that route. Hopefully either studio decides that NOAH is enough proof to give Aronofsky a shot.